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Climate change

Term Definition French
Acid precipitation Rain, snow, sleet, hail or fog, usually with acidity below pH 5.6. Acidic precipitation is primarily the result of emissions of gases of sulphur and nitrogen oxides which are transformed into sulphuric acid and nitric acid respectively as they are transported over distances of hundreds to thousands of kilometres from their source. Précipitation acide
Afforestation The establishment of a tree crop on an area from which it has always, or for very long, been absent. Where such establishment fails and is repeated, the latter may properly be termed reafforestation. Boisement
Anthropogenic emission Emission caused by human activities (for example, burning fossil fuels or setting fires to clear forest land for agricultural purposes). Émission anthropique
Bioenergy The kinetic energy released from biomass when it is eaten, burned or converted into fuel, or the potential energy embodied in biomass. Bioénergie
Biogas A combustible gas and type of biofuel produced by the decomposition of biological materials (for example, forestry residues and municipal waste) through anaerobic digestion (that is, in the absence of oxygen) or fermentation. Typical biogas consists of 50 to 60% methane and carbon dioxide. Biogaz
Biome A major biotic community composed of all the plants and animals in a specific geographical region and smaller biotic communities. The smaller communities in a biome possess similarities in gross external appearances and gross climatic conditions. Biome
Biosphere The portion of the earth comprising the lower atmosphere, the seas, and the land surface (mantle rock) in which living organisms exist. Biosphère
Blight Rapid browning or blackening of leaves, which subsequently die, caused by the deterioration of growing tissues. Brûlure
Blowdown Tree or trees felled or broken off by wind, snow, ice or age. Chablis
Broadcast fertilizing The scattering of fertilizer or other mixture more or less evenly over an area. Fertilisation à la volée
Buffer strip A band of forest left relatively undisturbed so as to protect some element of the environment, such as a streambank from erosion. Rideau vert
Carbon A chemical element highly abundant in nature and easily capable of forming polymers. Its unique properties make carbon the chemical basis of all biological compounds—and therefore, the chemical basis of life. Carbon is incorporated into biological processes and biomass mainly through plant photosynthesis. (See also carbon dioxide.) Carbone
Carbon budget Comparative evaluation of the amount of carbon stored in natural forests (sinks) and the amount emitted by them (sources), which is undertaken to determine whether the forests are sequestering more carbon than they are emitting to the atmosphere. Carbon budgets can be drawn up on various scales, including global. Bilan de carbone
Carbon dioxide (CO2) A colourless, odourless, non-combustible gas. Humans and all other living organisms give off carbon dioxide in respiration and decomposition. Trees and other plants absorb it and use it during photosynthesis. CO2 also emitted as a by-product of burning fossil fuels. Dioxyde de carbone (CO2)
Carbon footprint The total direct greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions produced by a facility to manufacture a range of products or an individual product. Empreinte carbone
Carbon neutrality When the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere equals the amount sequestered or offset. Neutralité carbonique
Carbon sink A carbon reservoir that absorbs and stores carbon from another part of the carbon cycle. A sink stores more carbon than it emits to the atmosphere. This store of carbon can also be termed a reservoir or pool. Although a growing forest can be considered a carbon sink, when the forest stops growing and its trees die and start decomposing, it becomes a carbon source, because it emits more carbon than it stores. Puits de carbone
Climate change An alteration in measured quantities (for example, precipitation, temperature, radiation, wind and cloudiness) within the climate system that departs significantly from previous average conditions and is seen to endure, bringing about corresponding changes in ecosystems and socio-economic activity. Changement climatique
Climate change adaptation An adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli. Adaptation au changement climatique
Climate change mitigation Human intervention to reduce the effects of climate change. Atténuation du changement climatique
Compensatory planting Creating plantations in one area in order to replace, in part or whole, a loss of growing stock elsewhere. Reboisement de compensation
Compound fertilizer A mixture of chemical nutrients added to the soil, having a broad array of actions. Fertilisant multiaction
Decline Disease that is characterized by a progressive decline in a tree’s health and in its growth and that may kill it. While the causes of this phenomenon are not known, it is generally believed that a combination of factors is to blame: pollution, soil acidification, drought, freeze-thaw action, etc. Dépérissement
Deforestation Permanent removal of forest cover and withdrawal of land from forest use, whether deliberately or circumstantially. Déboisement
Desertification The transformation of once-productive arid and semi-arid areas into deserts through prolonged drought or continued mismanagement of land and water resources. Désertification
Desiccation Process of becoming dried out. Dessiccation
Digital model Computer-based representation of a mathematical model describing natural phenomena. These models use complex equations to perform essentially mathematical simulations of natural phenomena. They are used to study and test hypotheses about tides, climate change, the changes in an insect population or a forest, and so on. Modèles numériques
Drainage Hydrology/engineering: The process of removal of water from soil, particularly by surface runoff and subsurface percolation and artificially by measures for hastening removal, e.g., by ditching. Drainage
Ecosystem The sum of the plants, animals, environmental influences, and their interactions within a particular habitat. Écosystème
Environmental assessment A process designed to contribute pertinent environmental information to the decision-making process of forest management or other natural resource projects and programs. Évaluation environnementale
Eutrophication The enrichment of water by nutrients, especially compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus, that will accelerate the growth of algae and higher forms of plant life. This enrichment may interfere with the normal ecological balance of the receiving waters. Eutrophisation
Exotic An introduced, non-native tree species. Exotique
Fertilizing The application of chemical or organic fertilizers with the objective of increasing the unit area soil productivity. Fertilisation
Fire hazard reduction Any treatment of fuels that reduces the threat of ignition and spread of fire. Réduction du risque d’incendie
Fire weather index The fire weather index (FWI) is part of an approach that Canadian meteorologists use to estimate the wildfire risk in forest regions. Calculation of the index components is based on consecutive daily observations of temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and 24-hour rainfall. Indice forêt-météo
Forest Ecosystem that generally covers a large area and is composed of woody vegetation dominated by trees growing in a relatively dense pattern. Forêt
Forest Ecology: Generally, an ecosystem characterized by a more or less dense and extensive tree cover. More particularly, a plant community predominantly of trees and other woody vegetation, growing more or less closely together. Forêt
Forest model A computer-based simulation that, within definable parameters, forecasts the development of a forest. Modèle de forêt
Forest regions classification A process of delineating large geographic areas according to landform and climate, associated with broad variations in overall forest composition. Classification des régions forestières
Forest site see forest site type Site forestier
Forest type A group of forested areas or stands of similar composition; forest types are usually separated and identified by species composition and often by height and crown closure classes. Type forestier
Forestry Generally, a profession embracing the science, business, and art of creating, conserving, and managing forests and forest lands for the continuing use of their resources, material or other. Foresterie
Geographic Information System (GIS) An organized collection of computer hardware, software and geographic data designed for capturing, storing, updating, manipulating, analyzing and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. Système d'information géographique (SIG)
Global Positioning System (GPS) A system of satellites and receiving devices used to compute positions on the Earth. Système de positionnement global (GPS)
Global warming The rise in temperature of the Earth's atmosphere due to the greenhouse effect. Réchauffement climatique
Greenhouse effect The warming of the Earth's atmosphere caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other gases in the air, which trap the sun's heat within the atmosphere. Effet de serre
Greenhouse gas (GHG) A gas—such as water vapour, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and ozone—that is transparent to incoming solar radiation but less so to the infrared radiation reflected back by the Earth’s surface, hence trapping part of the solar energy and warming the planet’s surface enough to sustain life. The build-up of greenhouse gases from industrial activities enhances the natural “greenhouse effect” and is partly responsible for global warming. Gaz à effet de serre (GES)
Greenhouse gas sinks Any process, activity or mechanism that removes greenhouse gases or their precursors from the atmosphere. The principal natural mechanism is photosynthesis. Puits de gaz à effet de serre
Greenhouse gas source Any process or activity (for example, forest fires or conversion of forest land to agricultural or urban uses) that releases greenhouse gases or precursors of those gases into the atmosphere. As trees and forest products decompose or burn, they release carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. Source de gaz à effet de serre
Habitat The environment in which a population or individual lives; includes not only the place where a species is found, but also the particular characteristics of the place (for example, climate or the availability of suitable food and shelter) that make it especially well suited to meet the life cycle needs of that species. Habitat
Integrated pest management The use of a mix of techniques and/or strategies to control pests, as opposed to the application of a single method. Lutte intégrée contre les ravageurs
Lop and top The branches and tops cut from a tree, generally once felled or fallen. Résidus d’ébranchage-façonnage
Lower Arctic Subarea of the arctic zone characterized by the absence of trees, continuous permafrost and tundra vegetation consisting of shrubs, herbaceous plants (mainly grasses), mosses and lichens. Bas-Arctique
Montréal Criteria and Indicators Process This global initiative was so named because the first meeting sponsored by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe was held in Montreal. Currently, 12 countries representing 90% of the world's boreal and temperate forests have agreed to collaborate to develop national C&I for the conservation and sustainable management of all boreal and temperate forests. Processus de Montréal sur les critères et les indicateurs
Morphology Form and structure of living organisms. Morphologie
Mortality Death or destruction of forest trees as result of competition, disease, insect damage, drought, wind, fire, old age, and other factors, excluding harvesting. Mortalité
National forest strategy An overarching national vision and framework for Canada’s forests developed by the Council of Canadian Forest Ministers. The first strategy appeared in 1981. Stratégie nationale sur la forêt
New forestry A forest management philosophy that attempts to retain characteristics of old-growth stands in managed stands. Nouvelle foresterie
Nutrients Mineral or organic substances (elements or chemical compounds) that plants and animals require for normal growth and activity. Plants and trees obtain nutrients primarily from the soil by absorbing them through their roots. Nutriments
Ozone layer A form of oxygen (O3) formed naturally in the upper atmosphere by a photochemical reaction with solar ultraviolet radiation and a major agent in the formation of smog. Couche d'ozone
Pest Organism that causes serious damage to plants or foodstuffs. Ravageur
Planetary wave A wave in the atmospheric circulation, in one of the principal zones of the westerly winds, characterized by a great length and a significant amplitude. Onde planétaire
Plantation forestry Application of forestry principles to an artificial crop or stand. Foresterie de plantation
Productivity The rate of production of wood of given specifications, by volume or weight, for a given area. cf. site capability Productivité
Provenance 1. The geographical area and environment to which the parent trees, etc., are native and within which their genetic constitution has been developed through natural selection. 2. The geographical source, i.e., place of origin. Provenance
Reforestation syn. reafforestation Successful renewal of a forest crop by planting or direct seeding. Création de forêt
Resilience The capacity of a community or ecosystem to maintain or regain normal function and development following disturbance. Résilience
Seed year The year in which a tree species produces, either as an individual or a crop, an adequate amount of seed; applies to any species but particularly to those with irregular or infrequent seed production. Année semencière
Shelterbelt A strip of living trees and/or shrubs maintained mainly to provide shelter for open land from wind, desiccation, snow-drift, etc. Rideau-abri
Site A land area based on its climatic, physiographic, edaphic, and biotic factors that determine its suitability and productivity for particular species and silvicultural alternatives. Site
Site capability The mean annual increment in merchantable volume which can be expected for a forest area, assuming it is fully stocked by one or more species best adapted to the site, at or near rotation age. Expressed in cubic metres per he Potentiel de station
Site index An expression of forest site quality based on the height, at a specified age, of dominant and codominant trees in a stand. May be grouped into site classes. Expressed in metres. Usually refers to a particular species. Indice de station
Site quality The productive capacity of a site; usually expressed as volume production of a given species per unit area (cubic metres per hectare) or per unit of time (cubic metres per year). Qualité de station
Smog Mixture of polluting particles and water drops in the atmosphere that forms a thick fog in industrial regions. Smog
Stand model A mathematical model that forecasts the development of a forest stand, usually in terms of mean stand attributes, e.g., mean diameter, height. Modèle de peuplement
Sustainable Forestry Initiative A forest certification program run by a multi-stakeholder (environment, industry, government, academic groups, etc.) board of directors. The SFI standard is a comprehensive system of principles, objectives and performance measures that combines the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the long-term protection of wildlife, plants, and soil and water quality. Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Tolerance The ability of an organism or biological process to subsist under a given set of environmental conditions. The range of these under which it can subsist, representing its limits of tolerance, is termed its ecological amplitude. Tolérance
Watershed The area drained by an underground or surface stream, or by a system of streams. Bassin hydrographique
Wildland Uncultivated land other than fallow. Land currently little influenced by human activity. Friche
Wilt Drying out, loss of colour and shape of leaves, then twigs and branches, caused by a lack of water or the presence of toxins. Flétrissement
Windfall 1. A tree or trees thrown down or with their stems broken off or other parts blown down by the wind. 2. Any area on which the trees have been thrown down or broken by the wind. Chablis
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